Who could have guessed seven years ago that a meager-sized coffee shop and teahouse in Boulder Plaza would grow four years later into one of the most popular stops in the scenic village of Ruidoso? Obviously, Will and Rebecca Ponder had the foresight to see how a once quaint, diminutive “java” house could evolve into a favored, spacious landing-place for visitors and residents alike.

Est. 2010

The couple first purchased the business on Oct. 10, 2010, and since then, have never looked back. But maybe that’s because Will Ponder is an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word and has been involved in business ventures of various kinds. He started an “open mic” and a movie night at the previous location and wanted to greatly enlarge that atmosphere. Will and Rebecca have a strong commitment to music and like to support the arts in the community. They were originally from Austin but now live exclusively in the Ruidoso area.

New Additions

Head Chef Zach Huffman (left) and Sacred Grounds General Manager Larry Ervin confer on the new dinner menu.

The new large, roomy coffee and tea shop at 2704 Sudderth Drive, which has been at the present location just shy of three years, has just about everything a thirsty and hungry individual could desire – a complete menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. And by the way, be sure to stop by and sample their new evening menu prepared by Head Chef Zach Huffman and his line cooks. Part of a successful food and drink operation is to have key employees to ensure a favorable outcome. Besides Huffman – who has been a chef for five years and with Sacred Grounds three years – the business is fortunate to have a well-experienced general manager in Larry Ervin who has 40-plus years of food service experience and two years of duty with Sacred Grounds. Both Ervin and Huffman feel strongly about the brand-new, unique dinner menu.

“I have no regrets about choosing this line of work and I feel I’ve found a home here at Sacred Grounds,” Ervin said. “This place has tremendous potential. Don’t be surprised if Will and Rebecca Ponder expand the business once again by adding three new deck tiers down to the creek, etc. There are plans to open an outdoor café closer to Sudderth Drive. They have taken a coffee shop and turned it into so much more.”

The Grounds and The Food

Sacred Grounds has live music on weekends featuring known southwestern talent.

Sacred Grounds is thankful for the visitors that stop by and the bubbly wait-staff will make them feel right at home, but at the same time, the powers that be fully realize the importance of the residents who are the core of its year-round business. There are 17 tables inside (four-tops) and 25 tables outside. Every month, it seems this establishment becomes more favored. But if you notice the parking lot to the business looks full, fret not. There is a lot across the road and a new public parking lot behind Vinnie and Val’s Restaurant up the street.

The dinner menu is complete featuring soups, salads, appetizers, entrées (including prime rib and lamb lollipop [must try]) and enjoyable desserts. Sacred Grounds proudly serves beers, wines and spirits crafted exclusively in New Mexico. Eight breweries and multiple distilleries are represented. You may buy wine by the glass or bottle. Will Ponder recently formed a new distillery – Glencoe Distillery, which is a member of the New Mexico Distiller’s Union. Watch for its “coming out” in the near future.

This prominent gathering-place goes out of its way to please all customers – both visitors and residents alike. It will do custom menus and even “crank up” the smokers if need be for special events. Be sure and ask for the “new” dinner menu. For more information on Sacred Grounds click here.


Monday, Thursday and Sunday: 7:30 am-8:00 pm
Tuesday and Wednesday: 7:30 am-4:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 7:30 am-10:00 pm


Breakfast Menu– Daily until Noon
Lunch Menu– Daily from Noon until 4:00 pm
Bar Menu– Thursday to Monday after 4:00 pm
Dinner Menu– Thursday to Monday after 5:00 pm
Menu hours on Friday and Saturday end at 9:00 pm
Happy Hour is Thursday-Monday, 4:00-6:00 pm
There will be entertainment on weekends.
Drink Menus

-Michael Curran